At the tail end of last year, a rumour about ‘Nirvana’ reforming for a charity concert made significant headlines in music circles. The main point of interest was, of course, that they would be joined onstage by Paul McCartney, who would take the late Kurt Cobain’s place.
Predictably the music media went into a frenzy.
I’m a huge Nirvana fan, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pretty excited at the prospect of these guys performing together again in ANY capacity (hell, it’s the reason I bought the last Foo Fighters album), but the stories, blog entries, and comments all seemed to focus on either why they were trashing Cobain’s legacy, or speculating about which Nirvana songs Macca was going to murder. What everyone seemed to be glossing over, or completely missing, was the reality of the situation, which was pretty easy to figure out with a bit of quick Googling.
Paul McCartney was to close the Hurricane Relief concert, with a series of revolving guest musicians, three of whom happened to have been in Nirvana. The song they ended up performing together was not a Nirvana or Beatles song, but a new track they had already recorded together for Dave Grohl’s Sound City documentary, ‘Cut Me Some Slack’.
The title of the song could not have been more appropriate for the anticipation under which it was performed at that show. Seriously, who thinks that any of these people would be stupid enough to claim that they were ‘reforming Nirvana’? It makes a great headline, but has no basis in reality. McCartney makes a passing reference to being ‘in the middle of a Nirvana reunion’ during their initial jam session, but the last time these guys got together to play was on the most recent Foo Fighters album. The song itself couldn’t be less ‘Nirvana’ if it tried. It sounds like a cross between Led Zeppelin and The Beatles. The only thing more ‘Nirvana’ about this ‘reunion’, as opposed to the other times these musicians have played together recently, is the fact that Grohl is on drums this time instead of guitar.
For those who want it straight from ‘Nirvana’ themselves:
At the end of the day, what right does anyone have to say that these people shouldn’t play together again? They’re clearly all enjoying themselves and the chemistry is still there. They’re making music with their friends, and it was for charity. I enjoyed every second of this song; McCartney hasn’t rocked this hard since ‘Helter Skelter’. If only all ‘reunions’ looked like they were as much fun to be a part of. It’s not exactly The Eagles fighting all the way to the bank.
Wasn’t Kurt a huge Beatles fan? I’d like to think he would have gotten some sort of perverse kick out of the whole situation. It’s hardly something to be rolling in your grave over.
By Clint Morrow